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Tuesday, February 7, 2023
HomePoliticsAccepted in principle the bill: "Public long-distance and urban scheduled passenger road...

Accepted in principle the bill: “Public long-distance and urban scheduled passenger road transport”

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ND MPs were in favor, SYRIZA MPs, PASOK-Change Movement and Hellenic Solution MPs abstained, while KKE MPs and MeRA25 MPs voted against.

Accepted in principle by the competent parliamentary committee, the bill of the Ministry of Infrastructure & Transport, entitled “Provisions for public long-distance and urban regular road transport of passengers. Reorganization of the companies OSE S.A. and ERGOSE S.A. and other provisions”.

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ND MPs were in favor, SYRIZA MPs, PASOK-Change Movement and Hellenic Solution MPs abstained, while KKE MPs and MeRA25 MPs voted against.

Earlier, their positions on the bill had been submitted to the members of the Production & Trade committee, the stakeholders, both from the field of road passenger transport, and from the railway field.

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The president and managing director of OSE, Sp. Pateras, described the bill as very important for the railway sector. It distinguishes between the roles and responsibilities between the infrastructure manager (OSE) and the project construction manager (ERGOSE), while creating the conditions, through the ministerial decisions that will follow, to clarify the procedures by which the projects are received and delivered between two entities, namely the construction arm and the user of the infrastructure, said Mr. Pateras.

The need to strengthen the Regions with personnel, financial resources and know-how was mentioned by Fanis Spanos, member of the Board of Directors and president of the Spatial Planning, Infrastructure and Transport Committee of the Union of Regions of Greece (EN.PE). The bill serves a positive aim, however, the transfer of responsibilities for road transport to local government must be accompanied by a provision for the human and material tools with which the transport services will be able to manage them, Mr. Spanos said.

The president of the Board of Directors of the General Panhellenic Federation of Tourism Enterprises (GEPOET), Aris Marinis, said that the bill “is full of photographic provisions, which even if KTEL had helped or written it, it would not have succeeded so well”.

The inclusion of provisions to ensure the accessibility of the disabled in the transport systems was requested by the general secretary of the National Confederation of Persons with Disabilities, V. Koutsianos.

The chairman of the Panhellenic Federation of Railways (POS), Panagiotis Paraskevopoulos, expressed the assessment that the bill will not solve the problem of absorptions in ERGOSE. Also on the subject of the representative of the workers, he said that he cannot enter into the judgment of the respective administration or the government.

The president of the Board of the Federation of Transport Trade Unions of Greece (OSME), Themistocles Amblas, raised the issue of preserving the jobs and labor rights of the already existing staff in urban and interurban KTEL, he estimated that the abolition of the Passenger Transport Regulatory Authority never worked because it was never financed and because KTEL did not want to be under its control, while it was in favor of placing public transport under the absolute control of the public.

The president of the OSE Employees’ Union, N. Tsikalakis said that he keeps a “small basket” for the case of separation of OSE and ERGOSE. In order to finally reduce the so-called bureaucracy, there must be an infrastructure company, which will undertake construction and maintenance from start to finish, said Mr. Tsikalakis, who requested the withdrawal of the provision for the labor representative “appointed” by the government.

The president of the ERGOSE Employees’ Association, Dimitra Tserpeli, said that the qualitative and quantitative utilization of the existing staff must be ensured and inequalities between existing and new staff must be avoided, as well as ensuring that – as a matter of priority – the existing staff will be utilized in the administration and in the coordination of all kinds of ERGOSE activities.

The president of the Federation of Tourist Agents and Bus Owners of Northern Greece, P. Charalambous said that the bill takes a photo of the work of KTEL and does not allow any other company, except the companies of KTEL.

The president of the Federation of Greek Associations of Travel and Tourism Agencies (FedHATTA), Lysandros Tsilidis, said that the legislator is doing well and is creating a law (based on the European directive on the liberalization of the markets) for the transportation service but “I would like today the separation of the tourist bus sector from KTEL cars”. By what right, he added, do they want KTEL to be able to make trips abroad? By what right do they carry out any transport project discrediting any Tourism entrepreneur to deal with the project? There are no blockades in any European country, said Mr. Tsilidis.

On behalf of the motorists-shareholders of urban KTEL, the chairman of the Board of Directors of the Panhellenic Federation of Urban Transports (POAS), M. Sakellariou welcomed the government’s legislative initiative in principle but expressed “dissatisfaction” at the repeal of a “legislative acquis of Urban KTEL” which provided that on the date of the tenders, the tenderers must have, among other conditions, the prescribed number of buses. He proposed the following wording: “On the date of the tender procedures, the tenderers must have, a) the required number of interurban or urban or semi-urban type buses and the required service facilities, including train stations. And b) the required staffing , the experience, the execution of urban and interurban road passenger transport, the organization, systems of telematics and new information and new ticket issuance, as these are specified in the notices of tender procedures”.

The chairman of the Board of the Technical Chamber (TEE), G. Stasinos said that the proposed bill makes an important effort to resolve the issue regarding the delivery of railway projects, and noted that the separation of OSE – ERGOSE will result in them moving much further quickly the projects of each company.

The president of the Federation of Tourism Entrepreneurs and Tourist Bus Owners, Ap. Emmanuelidis, expressed “the vertical disagreement and strong indignation” of the sector for the bill which is “photographic in favor of one operator”.

The chairman of the Board of Directors of the Panhellenic Federation of Motorists of Interurban Transport (POAUS), Sofocles Fatios expressed his agreement with the bill and noted that it was impossible to plan the geographical areas of interurban and urban road transport by two different competent authorities (Department of Transport and RAEM) in any Region and Regional Unit with different criteria. His only “objection” is to the article of the bill according to which the tenderers must provide guarantees that they will have the required number of buses and the necessary boarding-disembarking stations at the time of signing the contract. He requested that these guarantees be included in the specific article “so that every investor knows the terms and conditions that he must have in order to participate in the tender and invest in order to have the construction site of the station within the urban fabric of the city so that it is not required second movement of passengers. Because if in some prefecture the bidder is deemed to be an investor – who will not be KTEL, which has the corresponding infrastructure – until it obtains the qualitative and quantitative criteria provided by law to execute the contract, how will it be served transport the specific county?” asked Mr. Fatios.

Commenting on what was heard from representatives of tourist buses, he said that “the bill does not exclude anyone, but it puts conditions and states that there must be investments that you can make to come and participate.”

The president and managing director of ERGOSE – ERGA OSE SA, Chr. Vinis welcomed the government’s legislative initiative “to solve chronic pathologies of at least the last twenty years, overlaps of responsibilities between the two companies that resulted in all these long delays in the completion and implementation of the projects, many involvements in financing, etc.” Regarding the employee representative who will participate in the administrations, he said that there are expected to be some minimum prerequisite criteria, but the process of selecting and electing them will continue to be done by all the employees. While he assured that “there is no question of someone overriding any of the existing officials”.

RES-EMP

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